Three Week Lockdown Extension Across Isle Of Wight And UK

The Government has outlined what must happen before it can consider relaxing the coronavirus lockdown restrictions.

Foreign secretary Dominic Raab, who is now deputizing for prime minister Boris Johnson while he is recovering from coronavirus, said the United Kingdom still does not "have the infection rate down as far as we need to" and relaxing social distancing measures will "undo progress made to date".

Graphs presented at the daily briefing showed a decrease in the number of patients in hotspot areas such as London and the Midlands.

The death toll rose by more than 800 on Thursday alone, to reach 13,729.

Last Friday, 980 new deaths were added to the national total, the biggest increase in a single day. "It means in the community it's likely that the virus and the epidemic is now shrinking".

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"We must be confident any adjustments from the current measures will not risk a second peak of infections that would overwhelm the NHS".

Mr Raab's comments follow those made by one of his predecessors, former foreign secretary Lord Hague, who said it would be "very good to have an global investigation" to determine the origin of coronavirus.

Asked about how the government will deal with China once the pandemic has passed, Mr Raab said: "There's no doubt, we can't have business as usual after this crisis".

On the question of relaxing lockdown, Raab asserted: "We will only do it when the evidence demonstrates that it is safe to do it, adding,"it could involve relaxing measures in some areas while strengthening measures in other areas, but. we will be at all times guided by the scientific advice and the evidence".

"It would be the worst outcome not just for public health but for the economy and for our country as a whole".

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